Snacking in Potts Point
We cheated a little, and started in Elizabeth Bay, since it was such a glorious day.....On a sparkling day, Lorrie Graham and I met our friend at The Lookout in Beare Park.
Sitting under an umbrella at the boat shed, the sun dances off the lapping waves and the boat masts tinkle in the gentle breeze. This is a go to spot when friends visit from overseas...
With an all day breakfast menu and lots of lunch options, there is something for everyone here at the water's edge. When we showed up and said we wanted to snack on some lunch, they didn't bat an eye......
Pacing ourselves is part of a a day of food exploration, so despite the delicious offerings whizzing past us to various tables, we settle for a fish taco each and some drinks.
I couldn't fault the fish taco, having eaten many varieties in Mexico and California. These hold their own, a crunchy generous fillet of fish swaddled in all the great accompanying components in a soft taco........and the green salsa was particularly on point.
Other offerings include muesli, an absolutely delicious croque-monsieur, and eggs any way you'd like.
For lunch, there's prawn linguine, a salmon bowl and other enticements. Service is casual and friendly and the million dollar view at your feet helps it all taste perfect.
We stroll up the hill away from the water, and pass by Poppi's, an institution on the corner where members of the Alexandridis family have been welcoming neighbours (more like friends) to their little cafe for 23 years. Mother and daughter team Poppi and Fay are here daily except for Mondays, serving good coffees, breakfast and lunch and Poppi's home made biscuits and cakes. Big smiles and equally big hearts draw their customers in faithfully.
It is the absolute meeting place at the crossroads for the local neighbourhood, also all dogs welcome.
Winding your way uphill is the Tucker Box, owned and run by James. Quiches, baguette sandwiches, and in my opinion the best meat and chicken pies you'll find anywhere; order from the window and eat at a pavement table, or get cosy inside. Pick up a family sized pie to take home for dinner, and give yourself the night off.
Across the road you'll find Elizabeth Bay Cafe, where morning sun splashes upon tables and stools balance on the slopey corner. With fresh flowers at every table, the welcome is cheery.
Primary Coffee Roasters is legendary at 1/9, Ward Avenue. We drank a matcha and a hot chocolate too, and can vouch that their top skills aren't just restricted to coffee... The minimalist coffee shop doesn't offer much else, being entirely focused on good coffee practise, but if you're lucky you might score an excellent choc chip cookie.
(Lorrie is at this point in full flight, capturing the local scene- check her blog for a delightful extension of our day....)
On the corner, at 11 Ward Avenue, you'll find Gourmet Life- a deli with a refrigerated display case filled with a king's ransom of caviar, cheeses and charcuterie. Surrounding walls are all shelves of bottles and packages of other deli delights like salts, olives, anchovies, pastes, jams, spreads and varieties dried pasta, biscuits, breads and chocolate.
Turn right from here and find Teta's, a charming middle eastern deli and cafe with the added attraction of a corner window seat, where lovely Dina who owns the little jewel-box will make you traditional coffee and you can watch the world from that prime spot.
From the tiled floors to the whitewashed walls, take yourself away to the mediterranean and nibble on a delicious 'pliage'. Like the name suggests, a folded over delicious sandwich made on the spot with flatbread, tomato paste and zataar as a base, then filled either with lamb and veggies or haloumi and salad. Wash down with a tamarind cola .......very satisfying.
Take home treasures include rustic blocks of olive oil soap, bottled stuffed eggplants, black sesame oil and a loofah woven in such a pretty fashion you might well be tempted to hang it on the wall.
From here, we staggered up further up the road past Lady Chu..how lucky are we she'd made Potts Point her new home. Vietnamese at its best, take out in neat little packages, or a dine in experience with good wines. Snacking is easy here with dumplings (even vegan ones), rice paper rolls and Ban Cuon : the heavenly steamed silky pancakes.
Cafe de la Fontaine is bustling for good reason (1A Darlinghurst Road). Sit at the sidewalk with your pet dog across from the El Alamien fountain and feel like you're transported to a French town....... with their authentic galettes, ice creams, and crepes. Sweet baked treats like financiers, eclairs, and chouquettes are the real deal.
Penny's Cheese Shop is such a welcome addition to the neighbourhood, the aromas of the curated cheese selection finding you before you even spy the cute store front. This is the ultimate cheese lover's fantasy landing: ask Penny, Alex or any one of the knowledgeable servers to help you make selections. The surrounding shelves sport all the fun edibles you could enjoy with your cheeses: pastes and sardines, anchovies, butters, spreads and condiments. Every one of them so thoughtfully chosen, there's no chance of making a mistake from the selection at hand. Weekly deliveries of bread from Pioik add to the attraction.
Famously, Penny's makes small batches of cheese toasties each day- about thirty during the week, and a flat fifty on the weekends. If you miss out, that devastated feeling comes with good reason.
Further along is Croissant d'Or an institution on Macleay Street where old fashioned as it might seem, the delicacies are all made onsite from the flaky croissants, pies and sausage rolls to coconut macarons and almond paste petite fours.
Turn down into Orwell Street and the snacking continues at Dear St. Eloise, Chester White and The Roosevelt. Here though, the snacks come with a liquor licence so you can nibble on various tapas style savoury treats while enjoying an evening aperitif.
Snacking never came so easy. Still, we have yet to traverse a great chunk of streets and windy laneways in Potts Point filled with fabulous and favourite restaurants, so check this space for Part 2 in weeks to come, where the meals becomes more substantial ......
Thank you to my lovely eating collaborators- none of this is fun or possible without the enthusiasm and extra mouths....